The Australian dollar is edging higher ahead of the US interest rate decision

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

The Australian dollar inched higher in overnight trade, consolidating on the gains achieved late last week following the release Australia’s GDP report on Wednesday.

Here’s the Aussie dollar scoreboard as at 7.50am AEST.

AUD/USD 0.7539 , 0 , 0.00%
AUD/JPY 82.83 , -0.04 , -0.05%
AUD/CNH 5.1221 , 0.0003 , 0.01%
AUD/EUR 0.6726 , -0.0002 , -0.03%
AUD/GBP 0.5946 , -0.001 , -0.17%
AUD/NZD 1.0472 , 0.0004 , 0.04%

While the move against the US dollar was muted, adding just shy of 0.2%, the Aussie continued to soar against the British pound, hitting .5962 in overnight trade.

“Selling pressure on all things GBP re-emerged on Monday, with GBP/USD falling to a fresh low of $1.2640 and AUD/GBP to the intra-day highs above 0.5950 seen during our session on Friday when the news of the indecisive election results was first absorbed,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at the National Australia Bank (NAB).

“After markets on Friday entertained thoughts of a softer Brexit, focus Monday turned to the unstable nature of the new government and the precarious position of PM May, an unfriendly backdrop for spending and investment.”

As seen in the AUD/GBP daily chart below, the Aussie has now gained over 5% against the pound over the past month, leaving it sitting at the highest level since mid-April this year.

AUD/GBP Daily Chart

After a holiday-thinned session on Monday with most Australian states and territories enjoying a long-weekend, the local data calendar springs back to life today with the release of the NAB’s Australian business confidence survey for May.

“In April the survey remained well above its long-run average levels with conditions at +14, while the employment sub-index rose to +8, the later consistent with official employment growth of around 20,000 a month,” says Attrill.

Given Australia will receive its official jobs report for May on Thursday, including key quarterly underemployment figures, there’s likely to be plenty of attention on the employment index within the NAB’s report today.

Outside of Australia the regional calendar is quiet, likely ensuring that the USD/JPY — often influential on the broader US dollar index in Asia — could be one factor that influences movements in the Aussie dollar today.

Later in the session, markets will receive inflation data from the UK, German investor sentiment along with producer price inflation and NFIB small business confidence from the US.

A bit to focus on, although it’s debatable as to how influential it’ll prove to be given bigger events later in the week.

Imre Speizer, senior market strategist at Westpac, says the AUD/USD is likely to be range-bound today “in a typical pre-FOMC lull”.

The US Federal Reserve’s FOMC is widely expected to lift official interest rates later in the week, with the decision scheduled for release in the early hours of Thursday morning along Australia’s east coast.

The FOMC will also release updated economic forecasts at this meeting which have the potential to move financial markets more than the actual rate decision itself.

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